Author & Member Testimonials

It was an honor to speak at Dr. Angie Beumer Johnson’s WORDBridge Now about my YA nonfiction book, FROM A WHISPER TO A RALLYING CRY: THE KILLING OF VINCENT CHIN AND THE TRIAL THAT GALVANIZED THE ASIAN AMERICAN MOVEMENT (Norton Young Readers 2021).

I was moved by Dr. Johnson’s passion to advocate the importance of not just young people’s literature but also social justice issues for our young readers, students and their teachers and educators. I was inspired by the WORDBridge Now audience’s insightful questions and desire to learn and grow. WORDBridge Now truly bridges the gap by raising awareness of the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in youth literature. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

Paula Yoo

Paula Yoo with Vincent Mural

Literature is so important–people who are silenced, not listened to, etc. need to see themselves represented–empowerment–these books can help us listen to these POVs–book banning destroys us (erasure, etc.)

Listening is work–white people cannot just enter and say, “I have an idea/proposal”–we need to listen to those affected–they probably already made that proposal and were ignored–we want to do the work to prevent/get rid of injustice, but listening is work.

Notes from Em, middle school teacher in an urban community, from Brendan Kiely’s presentation on The Other Talk: Reckoning with Our White Privilege

To my fellow ELA teachers:

PLEASE check out WORDBridge Now! It’s a new, up-and-coming professional development and enrichment group that provides amazing opportunities for learning, growth, and camaraderie! Angie Beumer Johnson (founder extraordinaire) has a great line-up of speakers, authors, and other professionals planned for the next several months!

Following Ruta Sepetys’ program, social media post from AJ, high school teacher & department chair in a diverse suburban community

Lesléa Newman
October Mourning by Leslea Newman

“What’s in a name?” asked Shakespeare’s Juliet.

In the case of T.E.A.C.H. which stands for Teachers, Educators, & Authors Collaborate against Hatred, the name says it all. It was an honor to be a T.E.A.C.H. presenter and share my work with such a passionate, devoted, and intelligent group of people who are determined to make the world a better, more just place. I left the session energized, inspired, and more committed than ever to continue doing the work that must be done.”

Lesléa Newman, author October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard; Sparkle Boy; and Heather Has Two Mommies

Student Impact

I told the kids about Chris, and they were so excited to write some questions…. It turned into a lesson on how to ask open-ended questions…. We did read some biographies beforehand, too, to make sure their questions weren’t already answered somewhere…. It was great practice for them!

Melissa, residential treatment center teacher

I remember the wonderful event you hosted.

I loved it! And the events you’ve been hosting since have been so important.

Ruta Sepetys, author of I Must Betray You


Author Kacie Lynn Wheeler
Renate Frydman

Thank you so much for inviting me to do this Zoom!!

Such an interesting group to speak to!! You are doing great work and I wish you continued success with these sessions!!

Dr. Renate Frydman, Holocaust survivor
Author, Anschel’s Story: Determined to Survive

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